Bellwether South Korea Staggers Out Of Rough 2019 With Better-Than-Expected December Trade Data

South Korea's exports fell less than expected in December, although shipments did contract for a 13th consecutive month. Exports dropped 5.2%, much better than the 8.6% decline consensus expected. Imports, meanwhile, fell 0.7% versus an expected 7% slide. The relatively shallow declines come after first-20 days export figures out earlier in the month showed signs of improvement. For the full year, South Korea's exports fell 10.3%, primarily due to a grievous slump in the global chip market.

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